NHL Playoff Bracket 2020: TV Schedule, Live-Stream Guide for Saturday Matchups

Jake RillSenior Analyst IIIAugust 15, 2020

Boston Bruins right wing David Pastrnak (88) and center Patrice Bergeron (37) celebrate the team's 5-4 victory over the Winnipeg Jets in an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020, in Boston. Pastrnak scored three goals in the game. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Elise Amendola/Associated Press

The Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues are in some trouble. The Boston Bruins, who lost to the Blues in last year's final, will be looking to avoid joining them as a team facing an early deficit in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

On Friday, St. Louis lost 4-3 in overtime to the Vancouver Canucks, who took a 2-0 lead in their first-round series. The Blues are 0-5 this postseason, as they lost all three of their round-robin seeding games to fall to the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference.

Boston also struggled in round-robin play, going 0-3 to fall to the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference. However, it is tied 1-1 in its first-round series against the Carolina Hurricanes, who won Game 2 after falling to the Bruins in double overtime in Game 1. The teams will return to the ice for Game 3 on Saturday.

Here's a look at the full slate of games set to take place Saturday.


Saturday Schedule

Game 3: No. 4 Boston Bruins at No. 5 Carolina Hurricanes, noon ET, NBC

Game 3: No. 2 Colorado Avalanche at No. 7 Arizona Coyotes, 3 p.m. ET, CNBC

Game 3: No. 2 Tampa Bay Lightning at No. 7 Columbus Blue Jackets, 7:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network

Game 3: No. 1 Vegas Golden Knights at No. 8 Chicago Blackhawks, 8 p.m. ET, NBC

Games can be streamed live at NBC Sports Live.


Who Takes Control Between Bruins and Hurricanes?

This is already a more competitive series than when the two teams met in last year's Eastern Conference Final. In that meeting, Boston earned a four-game sweep, ending Carolina's impressive postseason run in quick fashion.

Although the Hurricanes lost 4-3 double overtime in Game 1 on Wednesday, they returned to the ice the next day and notched a 3-2 win to even the series. Former Bruin Dougie Hamilton scored the go-ahead goal in the third period.

The Hurricanes will try to carry over the momentum to Saturday's Game 3 against the Bruins, who have lost four of their first five games to open the postseason. Carolina has won four of five after sweeping the New York Rangers in the qualifying round.

"Whenever we get in our game and get the pucks deep and just get the forecheck going, we're playing our best," Hurricanes left winger Teuvo Teravainen said, according to Luke DeCock of the Charlotte Observer. "I think we're starting to do that a little more."

If the first two games were any indication, Game 3 should be another close contest.


Will Lightning or Blue Jackets Strike Next?

Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

After surprisingly getting swept out of the first round by the Columbus Blue Jackets last year, the Tampa Bay Lightning went five overtimes to secure a 3-2 victory in Game 1 of this year's opening-round series against CBJ on Tuesday. However, Columbus came right back and won 3-1 in Thursday's Game 2 to even the series.

The Blue Jackets continue to find ways to give the Lightning trouble in the postseason, and in this series, they have been carried by the stellar play of goaltender Joonas Korpisalo. In Game 1, Korpisalo had an NHL-record 85 saves. Then he made 36 while allowing only one goal in Game 2.

"We all know what he's capable of," Columbus center Pierre-Luc Dubois said, according to the Associated Press (h/t ESPN). "We all know in the dressing room that he's one of the best goalies in the NHL, and he's feeling really good right now."

Tampa Bay continues to be without captain Steven Stamkos, who is out with a lower-body injury. If the Lightning want to avenge last year's postseason loss to the Blue Jackets, they will need to find ways to breach Columbus' defense when the series resumes with Saturday. Otherwise, the Blue Jackets could be on their way to upsetting them in back-to-back seasons.


Golden Knights, Avalanche En Route to Sweeps

Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

It's no surprise that the Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche are off to strong starts this postseason, as they have been two of the top teams in the Western Conference all year. And both could be on their way to earning sweeps in their respective series.

Vegas has been on a scoring frenzy to open the postseason. It scored 15 total goals while going 3-0 in its round-robin seeding games, and it's tallied eight goals while taking a 2-0 series lead over the Chicago Blackhawks. The top-seeded Golden Knights pulled out a 4-3 overtime victory in Thursday's Game 2, with Reilly Smith (who scored two goals in Game 1) scoring the game-winning goal.

Colorado's only loss this postseason came in overtime to Vegas in a round-robin seeding contest. It still earned the No. 2 seed, though, and has started strong in its series against the Arizona Coyotes, outscoring the Desert Dogs 6-2 to take a 2-0 series lead. In Friday's Game 2, Andre Burakovsky scored the game-winning goal for the Avalanche with two minutes, 53 seconds to go.

If Vegas and Colorado win again Saturday, it will be tough for their opponents to come back. Only four teams have overcome 3-0 deficits in Stanley Cup playoffs history, with the last being the Los Angeles Kings in the first round in 2014.